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True Romance (1993)

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In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine, the Mob, track them down in an attempt to reclaim it.

Director:

Tony Scott
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Popularity
928 ( 7)

Christian Slater: Movie & TV Moments

From early roles in True Romance and Heathers to his most recent TV role on "Mr. Robot," Christian Slater has had quite the career. Let's take a look back at some of his famous roles ...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Slater ... Clarence Worley
Patricia Arquette ... Alabama Whitman
Dennis Hopper ... Clifford Worley
Val Kilmer ... Mentor
Gary Oldman ... Drexl Spivey
Brad Pitt ... Floyd - Dick's Roommate
Christopher Walken ... Vincenzo Coccotti
Bronson Pinchot ... Elliot Blitzer
Samuel L. Jackson ... Big Don
Michael Rapaport ... Dick Ritchie
Saul Rubinek ... Lee Donowitz
Conchata Ferrell ... Mary Louise Ravencroft
James Gandolfini ... Virgil
Anna Levine ... Lucy (as Anna Thomson)
Victor Argo ... Lenny
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Storyline

In Detroit, Clarence Worley goes to the movie theater alone on the day of his birthday to watch some movies. The gorgeous Alabama Whitman accidentally drops her popcorn on Clarence and they watch the movie together. Later they go to a diner for pie, and end up having a one night stand. In the morning, Alabama confesses that she is a call-girl hired to spend the night with him, but she has fallen in love with him. In the morning they get married and Clarence goes to the club where she worked to bring her some clothes. However, her pimp Drexl Spivey and his partner beat up Clarence and he reacts by killing them both. Clarence asks for Alabama's suitcase with her clothes and the other girls mistakenly give another one with cocaine. When Clarence discovers the mistake, he decides to travel with Alabama to the house of his friend, the aspiring actor Dick Ritchie, to sell the drug and travel to Mexico. He visits his father Clifford Worley and gives his address to him. But the Sicilian Mafia... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Stealing, Cheating, Killing. Who said romance is dead? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language, and for sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

10 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

True Romance See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,281,500
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | Dolby | DTS (5.1)| Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Early versions of the script set the mood with a couple of quotes after the title page. The first: "His films are a desperate cry from the heart of a grotesque fast food culture." -French critics on the films of Roger Corman. The second: "... Beyond all the naiveté and stupidity, beyond the vulgarity inherent in the amount of money involved, beyond all this, a certain grandeur had rooted itself into the scheme, and I could still spy a reckless and artistic splendor to the way we had carried it out." -Clifford Irving on the Howard Hughes hoax. See more »

Goofs

The comic book that Clarence shows Alabama is "Sleepwalker #8," and has nothing to do with a ring, a ship, or a man named Nick, which is the plot that Clarence explains to Alabama. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Clarence Worley: In "Jailhouse Rock" he was everything rockabilly's about. I mean, he is rockabilly. Mean, surly, nasty, rude. In that movie he couldn't give a fuck about nothing except rockin' and rollin', living fast, dying young and leaving a good-looking corpse.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2 Disc special edition DVD contains the unrated version of the film, which includes the graphic violence which was cut from the "R" rated release. It also includes the following deleted scenes on the second disc:
  • Extended sequence at the 'Sonny Chiba' movie. Jack Black appears as a theater attendant shooing everyone out after the movie is over.
  • Extended scene where Clarence shows Alabama his store.
  • A bathtub scene with Clarence and Alabama, in which they discuss Janis Joplin. Patricia Arquette (Alabama) does nudity in this scene. A piece of this scene appears in the theatrical trailer.
  • The billboard scene (where Alabama comes clean) is slightly extended. Clarence proposes marriage to Alabama, and she accepts.
  • The "do you eat pussy" scene is slightly extended with more dialogue, especially from Big Don (Samuel L. Jackson).
  • A car scene with Clarence, Alabama, and Dick in which Alabama explains how she got her name.
  • The scene in which Clarence first shows Dick the cocaine is slightly extended with more dialogue.
  • A scene featuring Vincenzo (Christopher Walken) on an elevator with his bodyguards. They talk about drug related matters and then walk down a hallway threatening to get Clarence and Alabama. The latter portion of this scene appears in the theatrical trailer.
  • Extended scene where Elliot prepares to be "wired".
  • Extended sequence of Alabama, Clarence, and Dick preparing to enter Lee's loft to sell the cocaine. They contemplate whether they should do it or not.
  • A brief scene in which Elliot is "motivating" himself to enter wearing the wire.
  • An alternate ending, which was Quentin Tarantino's original ending to the script. Clarence dies, and Alabama leaves alone with the money. She is then shown driving to Mexico alone, and she delivers a narrative monologue which indicates that she never really cared about Clarence, but used him to get away from Drexl and get money from the drugs. Tony Scott didn't use this ending because he felt that the audience would fall in love with Clarence and Alabama and would want to see them get away together. In a commentary on the alternate ending, Tarantino agreed that Scott's "happy ending" was better for the film that he made. QT stated that if he had made the film, he would've used the ending that he had originally written, because he would've made the film in a different tone.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Learnin' The Blues
Performed by Jerry DelMonico
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Tarantino's most "personal" writing; Scott gives commendable direction to all-stars
20 September 2003 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

True Romance is the work of two men, known for making movies (as TBS would say) for guys who like movies, and have one of the pick of the litter in the genre from the early to mid nineties. Quentin Tarantino sold his script to fund Reservoir Dogs, and Tony Scott (Top Gun) got picked up to direct. Some have complained that Tarantino should've directed this film, that it's so much his (which I agree with considering the story of the film was taken from his 1987 experimental film My Best Friend's Birthday, which refers to Clarence in this film going to the Sonny Chiba movies) that his own style as a director would've complimented it. It's a nice thought, though that's not what we as the audience are left with, and so with the final product there is much to admire about the style that Scott uses in the film. He films Tarantino's script (from a Roger Avary script originally) very much like he's shooting a Hollywood movie (as he knows how to with DP Jeffrey Kimball), with all the cut-aways and editing timing that is expected in a conventional crime-drama-thriller, then by hearing the snapping dialog from the script, and the cast performing them, Scott does become an important piece of making True Romance a success.

The story is a throwback to the old 'lovers on the run' formula, among others- Clarence (Christian Slater in one of his finest) is an employee in a comic book store in Detroit, loves kung-fu movies and big guns and such, who gets set up unwittingly with a call girl named Alabama (Patricia Arquette). The two fall in love, and Clarence feels confident enough by a certain voice in the back of his head (provided by Val Kilmer) to go and free Alabama for good from her vile pimp and drug dealer Drexl (Gary Oldman in one of the better villain roles of the time). He does, and through a couple of accidents Clarence and Alabama wind up with millions worth in cocaine, and high-tail it to LA to sell it, as the original (mob) owners of the coke follow after, with explosive results.

For fans of the actors, in particular the supporting cast, True Romance is one of the treats of treats in modern movies, on par with Pulp Fiction's roster of know-ables: Christopher Walken as a gangster (who would've thought?), Brad Pitt as a stoner roommate, Tom Sizemore and Chris Penn as cops, a few good lines for Samuel L. Jackson, an early plum for James Gandolfini, and my personal favorite of the lot, Dennis Hopper as Clarence's ex-cop father. Another thing that makes True Romance one of the (dare I say) most accessible of Tarantino's works is that a viewer who might not know this is his work on first viewing (this was me a few years ago, sad to say) will stay tuned through the whole thing if it's on TV just because of the star power; indeed, before Oldman's Detrix is introduced into the film, TR seems to flow like it'll be a romantic drama with light overtones. All I can say is by the end of this film, you will see that good taste can prevail no matter how much bloodshed gets on the screen, or how many obstacles get in the way of love (and Elvis!).


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